Shea Charles in action during NI's 2-0 win over Denmark in November as Kasper Dolberg looks on
Shea Charles in action during NI’s 2-0 win over Denmark in November as Kasper Dolberg looks on
Venues: Bucharest & Glasgow Dates: Friday, 22 March & Tuesday, 26 March Kick-offs: 19:45 GMT
Romania coverage: Listen live on BBC Sounds and Radio Ulster with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Scotland coverage: Watch live on BBC Two NI & BBC iPlayer with live radio & text commentary on BBC Sounds, Radio Ulster & the BBC Sport website

Northern Ireland midfielder Shea Charles says the side’s 2-0 win over Denmark which completed their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in November gave them “a boost of confidence”.

The victory ended a disappointing campaign for Michael O’Neill’s side, with their only other wins coming in their two matches against San Marino.

Northern Ireland play Romania and Scotland in forthcoming friendlies.

“It will be good to see where we are at as a team,” Charles told BBC Sport NI.

“It’s great to be back. It feels like a while from the Denmark game so it’s good to be among the squad again.

“It [the win over Denmark] gave us a boost of confidence coming into these friendlies.

“These are matches we have to be going into as competitive games against two good teams who have both qualified for the Euros.”

Northern Ireland play Romania in Bucharest on Friday, before facing Scotland in Glasgow on Tuesday.

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At just 20 years old and with 13 caps to his name already, Charles is regarded as one of the most exciting of the current crop of young players making their mark in the NI squad.

Charles moved from Manchester City to Southampton on a four-year contract last summer and the Saints sit fourth in the Championship table as they chase promotion to the Premier League.

“All is good at the moment [at Southampton]. The team is playing well and pushing for promotion. We have a very busy schedule at the end of the year. I’m settled down south,” he explained.

Debut came unexpectedly – Toal

NI defender Eoin Toal
Eoin Toal was handed a start on his senior NI debut against Slovenia in October 2023

Bolton Wanderers central defender Eoin Toal made his senior international debut against Slovenia in October during the Euro qualifying campaign and, having made two further appearances since then, is keen to establish himself in O’Neill’s squad.

“It came unexpectedly. It was great to get in and make those appearances. The aim is to pick up as many caps as possible,” said Toal.

“These are going to be tough games but hopefully we can put in good performances and get two positive results,” added the 25-year-old.

The former Derry City player recently had his contract at the League One club extended until 2027.

“I’ve felt really at home there and it’s been a great club for me to have my first couple of seasons in England.”

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